Gingerbread cake with brandy buttercream recipe

(96 ratings)

This delicious four-tiered gingerbread cake with brandy buttercream is a great way to impress your friends and family during this festive season.

Gingerbread cake
Preparation Time1 hours 30 mins plus cooling
Cooking Time1 hours
Total Time1 hours 30 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories1120 Kcal56%
Sugar103.3 g115%
Fat37.9 g54%
Saturated Fat9.9 g50%
Salt0.3 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein18.3 g37%
Carbohydrates174.1 g67%
Salt0.3 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Ginger-infused sponge and the light brandy buttercream combine in four towering tiers to make this richly decadent Gingerbread cake. This festive showstopper serves 10-14.

Perfect for family members who aren’t keen on a classic Christmas cake recipe, this mouth-watering cake is still full of all the flavours of Christmas. Unlike classic Christmas cake, this gingerbread cake can be made at the last minute and doesn’t need weeks to mature. Because not everyone has space in the oven for four cakes at once, this recipe makes two layers of gingerbread cake at a time.


For the cake (2 layers):

  • 220g butter
  • 300g light muscovado sugar
  • 6tbsp black treacle
  • 6tbsp golden syrup
  • 6 med eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 700g plain flour
  • 3tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8tsp ginger
  • 3tsp cinnamon

For the buttercream:

  • 450g icing sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 1-2tbsp brandy

To decorate:

  • Glace cherries
  • Dried apricots
  • Chopped hazelnuts
  • Flaked almonds
  • Mixed peel
  • Cranberries (dried or cooked)




  1. Before you start making your gingerbread cake with brandy buttercream, preheat the oven 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line 2x 20cm round cake tins with greaseproof paper – you’re going to start by making tier one and two of your cake.
  2. Gently heat the butter, sugar, golden syrup and treacle in a saucepan on a low heat stirring often.
  3. Whilst you’re waiting for the butter to melt and sugar to dissolve, measure and combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and pinch of salt and stir with a wooden spoon. Leave to one side.
  4. Once the sugar has dissolved in the saucepan take off the heat and continue to stir to cool the mix down. Gradually add in the eggs, continuously stirring. Next add in the milk. You can use a whisk at this point or just continue to beat with a wooden spoon.
  5. Pour the wet mixture in with the dry ingredients and stir/fold until the wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  6. Separate the mixture into even portions in the 2 x 20cm cake tins and bake in oven for 15-20 mins until golden and springy to touch. If your cakes cook outside in and seem a little wobbly on top, just cover with tin foil and continue to cook for a further 5 mins.
  7. If you're making a 4-layer cake repeat step 2,3,4 and 5 to make your next two tiers of the cake. Once you’ve combined all the ingredients, leave the mixture to one side.
  8. Take your first two cakes out of the oven and leave to cool in the tins for five mins. Run a knife around the edges of the cakes and then pop out onto a wire rack to cool. If the greaseproof paper is still stuck to the bottom of your tin you can reuse the tin without washing. If not, wash your tins up, dry and line with a fresh piece of greaseproof and repeat step 6.
  9. Once tiers three and four are cooked, turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
  10. Make up your buttercream by mixing the icing sugar, butter and brandy together. Gradually add in the brandy and taste as you go – some might like it stronger than others so you can be the judge.
  11. In a separate bowl add a handful of each of the fruits and nuts and stir with a wooden spoon.
  12. It’s now time to assemble your cake. Spoon a little of the buttercream onto your cake plate and pop on the base layer, the buttercream will help to hold the cake in place. Cover the base layer in a light spread of the buttercream using a palette knife or spatula. Once you're happy with the buttercream layer, add your next cake and repeat until you’ve stacked all four tiers of the cake.
  13. For the top of the cake, draw a circle in the middle using a palette knife and fill in with the buttercream. Take handfuls of the mixed fruits and nuts and drop into the middle of the buttercream circle letting the fruits and nuts fall wherever they please.
  14. Your cake is now ready to be served. To store, cover in tin foil and wrap in a plastic bag. It should keep for up to 3-4 days.

Top tips for making gingerbread cake

To make this gingerbread cake alcohol-free, simply replace the brandy with a few drops of orange or vanilla extract to add a different flavour to the buttercream.

Please note the nutritional information is based on a four-tiered gingerbread cake

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies